Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas—Part II

“I’ve got so many ideas for Christmas presents,” I said blending berry smoothies in the kitchen.
“Oh,” Mr. Wonderful said setting two glasses on the counter. 
“And more ideas for Chanukah presents.”
“Oh?”
“And even more for Kwanzaa presents.”
“What is Kwanzaa?” 
“Another reason to give gifts!”

Actually Kwanzaa is an African Harvest festival that was created in California in the 1960s by an African Studies professor to celebrate African and African-American culture. It begins December 26 and lasts for seven days culminating on January 1 with a day of gift giving. 

So whether you’re celebrating the seven days of Kwanzaa, the eight days of Chanukah or the 12 days of Christmas, here are more gift ideas from the New House Girl. If you missed the first six ideas click here. The ideas below still follow the theme of DIY-Fixing-up-a-Fixer-Upper-House. Enjoy!  

7) Pétanque Set.


Give your loved one hours of enjoyment—or frustration—with a Pétanque Set. This set comes in a handy carrying case for two players (three balls each) so the game can be played in the backyard, front garden, at the park or on the beach. If you give a set to a loved one, be prepared: the next time you see her she’ll challenge you to a match over a bottle of Pastis. Or maybe that was just me? Playaboule.com $25.


8) Tree.


A tree is the gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Especially if the tree is a fruit (orange, lemon, lime) or nut (almond, pecan, chestnut) varietal. A friend of mine adores drinking margaritas—on the rocks or frozen—so several years ago her husband bought her a lime tree that she plunked down in the backyard. Now she squeezes wedges of home-grown limes into her margaritas whenever she likes. Regardless of their produce bounty, trees will also give you shade and beauty for years to come. Local plant nursery $50-$150 


9) Drip Hose Kit.


Sprinkler systems are so 20th century. Whether you live in California right now while we are experiencing a drought, or not, in the future water will continue to be a desirable commodity worldwide. So why not join the 21st century and buy a Drip Hose kit for pots and containers or whole gardens and yards. Sprinklerwarehouse.com $12-$30

10) Sunset Magazine. 


If you live in the Western United States you’ve probably drooled over Sunset Magazine. It covers home design, cooking, gardening, restaurants and travel in western North America. They don’t have much of a funny bone but those pictures are gorgeous. Give a subscription gift your friend will enjoy all year long. Sunset.com $16.

11) Chestnut Roaster. 


It’s the holidays, which means it’s time for “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…” I grew up singing this song but it was only when Mr. Wonderful and I moved into The House that I actually roasted chestnuts over an open fire… and ate them. And they were delicious! Nothing gets you into the cozy holiday season more than building a fire and roasting chestnuts over it. Or maybe that’s just me? P.S. If you get the model with a lid, it can also be used to pop popcorn like this one from Bedbathandbeyond.com $26.

And now for the most important gift: 
12) Wine! 


Wine is fabulous all year long. But it’s especially good when someone gifts it to you. Lot 18 is a mail order wine company that allows you to purchase and ship wines to a loved one for a singular gift or repeatedly, say: once a month for a year. But what wines does one give? If you’re afraid of choosing wines your loved ones won’t like, Lot 18 also offers a unique wine sampling gift. It includes six tiny bottles—containing enough wine to provide a taste for two wine drinkers. The Sampler also includes rating information so the wine drinkers can record which flavors they preferred from the wines sampled. This information is then shared with Lot 18, at which point Lot 18 can send only the bottles your friends liked because they chose them. Lot 18 also offers the Sampler with a $25 gift card, which can be applied to any vinos the wine drinker would like to purchase from Lot 18. This is a super present for the wine drinkers on your gift list. Lot18.com $25-$100+ Or maybe it’s just great for me?

Anyway you look at it, make someone happy this holiday season with gifts or just the present of your presence.

Happy Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Happy Kwanzaa!